9 February 2018.
As I was absent at the preview of this film, a friend who was there kindly wrote this review on it. What do you think of the movie, for we all see films with our own baggage, don’t we? Till next week, Neptune.
THE 5:17 TO PARIS *1/2
On 21 August 2015, a man on a train on its way from Amsterdam to Paris opened fire in a carriage before his assault rifle jammed, and he was subsequently subdued by passengers.
That is the bare bones of a story ramped up by Clint Eastwood in his latest film ’15:17 to Paris’ to become a tribute to the American way, to the flag, to love of guns, to simple heroism from simple small town boys and to the tub thumping that recent developments have brought to the forefront of American public life.
And it’s a pity, because here is the director who in the past has brought us such glories as “Mystic River”, “Million Dollar Baby” and “Flags of our Fathers”, to cite just three of many, now bringing us a film not fit to keep company in the same mind with his other superb achievements.
It is not a good film. It is just an hour and a half long, which suggests they didn’t have much to say, although there could have been plenty. It casts the three young Americans involved – and no doubt about it their behavior in the circumstance in which they were thrown on the day was noble – in the leading roles, which is an adventurous but not necessarily clever move. It makes next to no mention at all of the other noble participants to the events, of which there were a few, and non-American at that.
It does not explore the experience of the terrified passengers involved nor give a moment to the background and motivation of the assailant and what subsequently befell him. It does, for three quarters of its length, tell us about the boys’ home lives, their problems at school, their youthful romps through the woods playing bang bang, their interest in the military, and then follows them on a trip through Europe where they wonder at its end, with typical American tourist naivety, whether Paris would be worth going to. All pretty boring.
So come on Clint! You are better than this. Do something else to show us once more. And come on America! You are better than this too. Who’s this guy who says you gotta become great again? You are great already.
Superb **** Very Good *** Good ** Mediocre * Miserable – no stars
Neptune Ravar Ingwersen reviews film extensively for publications in Switzerland. She views 4 to 8 films a week and her aim is to sort the wheat from the chaff for readers.
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